The Hickory Legacy Foundation will be hosting a fundraising event at the Hickory Ski Center in Warrensburg on August 27th from 3-9, featuring live music, great food and local Adirondack brews and wine. Casual listening with popular hits in the afternoon and welcoming back Soul Sky with Mark Emanatian from 6-9.
All are encouraged to gain hands-on experience monitoring aquatic invasive species of the Adirondacks during a Lake George Association (LGA)-sponsored Citizen Scientist event this weekend, August 19-21. The event tasks residents with monitoring a specific area of Lake George for a few invasive plants and shellfish. The monitoring can be done by swim, snorkel, kayak, boat, etc.
Sunbaked Rattlesnake – Warren County
On Aug. 7, ECO Krug responded to Turtle Island in Lake George to remove an unwanted guest from a campsite. Using the appropriate tools, Officer Krug removed a rattlesnake sunning itself near the shoreline. Turtle Island is a popular spot for rattlesnakes from nearby Tongue Mountain. ECOs respond to similar calls to the island several times a year. Based on its painted tail, Officer Krug determined the rattlesnake had been picked up in the past. He turned the snake over to a research assistant working with a professor at Skidmore College studying the local rattlesnake population. The students collect data from the snake and then release it further away from potential human contact.
New York Natural Heritage Program (NYNHP) recently completed the multi-year Empire State Native Pollinator Survey. The pollinator survey documents the conservation status of 451 species. This included a wide array of native insect pollinators, including four groups of bees, two groups of flies, two groups of beetles, and two groups of moths. This inventory of the state’s native pollinators was recommended in the New York’s Pollinator Protection Plan (PDF).
Some highlights of the survey:
- NYNHP conducted hundreds of field surveys all over New York and compiled data from museum collections and observations from community/citizen scientists—this totaled over 230,000 insect records!
- Hundreds of volunteers provided tens of thousands of insect specimens and photographs.
- The project added 16 bee and fly species to the known pollinators in New York State, but 79 species that were once recorded could not be found.
- NYNHP determined that 38% of New York’s native pollinators are at risk of extirpation (becoming regionally extinct). In the worst-case scenario, as much as 60% of native insect pollinators may be at risk.
AKWESASNE — The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council submitted a letter this week to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) expressing its ongoing objection to the remedy for the Grasse River Remediation Project. The Grasse River remediation was completed on October 15, 2021. Addressed to EPA Region 2 Administrator Lisa Garcia, the letter notes the “devastating failure” earlier this year of EPA’s chosen remedy and the reintroduction of hazardous waste into the environment following an ice jam.
On Monday, August 8, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the annual opening to the public of otherwise restricted Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties from Tuesday, Aug. 16, to Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022. During the 16-day open house, Upper and Lower Lakes and Wilson Hill WMAs in St. Lawrence County, including the posted refuge or wetland restricted areas, will be open to visitors each day from sunrise to sunset. Perch River WMA in Jefferson County will also be open to visitors with one exception-Perch Lake will be open daily from noon to sunset.
The Adirondack Road Salt Reduction Task Force is nearing completion of its first round of work and a report on its findings and recommendations could be available in the coming month.
During the first Adirondack Lakes Alliance symposium in recent years, Adirondack Watershed Institute Executive Director Dan Kelting previewed the panel’s recommendations. Here’s a look at some of what he said was included in recent drafts:
KEENE— Named for one of the Adirondack Garden Club’s most outstanding members, the Ellen Lea Paine Memorial Nature Fund was established in 2005 to give financial assistance to individuals and not-for-profit organizations involved in programs whose purpose is to study, protect and enjoy the natural environment within the Adirondack Park. Mrs. Paine, who passed away in 2005, was an avid gardener who took great pride in the gardens of her family properties.
This year, the Ellen Lea Paine Memorial Nature Fund awarded eight grants ranging up to $1,500.
(Paul Smiths, NY, August 1, 2022) – Adirondack Water Week kicks off on Friday, August 5 and runs through Sunday, August 14 this year. The 3rd annual event celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, historic legislation that protected our nation’s water resources. Adirondack Water Week is a collaboration involving several organizations and businesses and features more than two dozen programs across the Adirondack region.
The program is coordinated by the Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute and is funded in part by the Lake Champlain Basin Program. One of this year’s highlights is the Adirondack Watershed Challenge, a family event encouraging people to get outside and celebrate time spent on Adirondack waters.
“The challenge lets families work through a list of fun activities that they can do in their own town,” said Tom Collins, AWI’s education and outreach program specialist and the Water Week coordinator. “Visit a
local lake or pond, take a picture of wildlife, pick up litter from the shoreline, and eat local ice cream.”
The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum is marking the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Clean Water Act of 1972 this summer with a new exhibit and public activities. In tandem with partners around the Champlain Valley, the exhibit and activities give the public the chance to celebrate the importance of clean water through history, action, and educational events.
The new exhibit, “The Clean Water Act,” explores the history that led to the passage of the Clean Water Act, key parts to know about this federal legislation, how it relates to Lake Champlain, and people of the Champlain Valley who continue the fight for clean water. Featured locals include Tom Jorling, one of the architects of the Clean Water Act in 1972, former DEC commissioner for New York state, and professor and attorney; Kelley Tucker, executive director of the Ausable River Association; and Iris Hsiang, youth member of the Vermont Climate Council and founder of the Youth Organizing Coalition.
The exhibit was made possible with generous support from the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership. The Clean Water Act exhibit is open for all to visit for free in-person at the museum in Vergennes, VT or online at www.lcmm.org/Clean-Water-Act.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Division of Law Enforcement enforces the 71 chapters of New York State’s Environmental Conservation Law (ECL), protecting fish and wildlife and preserving environmental quality across New York. In 1880, the first eight Game Protectors proudly began serving to protect the natural resources and people of New York State.
In 2021, 282 Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) and Investigators across the state responded to 26,207 calls and worked on cases that resulted in 11,562 tickets or arrests for violations ranging from deer poaching to solid waste dumping, illegal mining, the black market pet trade, and excessive emissions violations.
Lake George Park commissioners today got an update on a pair of initiatives that could have a major impact on the future of the lake.
A set of draft regulations to create a new septic inspection program around the lake is awaiting state approval before going up for public comments in the coming weeks. The proposed rules would establish a requirement that thousands of homes near the lake and its tributaries submit to a septic pump and inspection every few years.
Commission officials said they expected to be holding public hearings on the septic rules sometime this fall, possibly in October. The park commission will host a public information session on the program early next month.
Allison Gaddy, a senior planner with the Lake Champlain Lake George Regional Planning Board also updated the park commission on a forthcoming Lake George Watershed Plan. The plan will include an assessment of existing local ordinances, codes and planning documents, as well as an overall review of the condition of the lake, surrounding natural areas and development. It covers a range of issues, including septic issues, land acquisition and conservation, invasive species, climate resiliency, road salt impacts and more.
Focused on water quality, the plan will also outline proposed projects around the lake, providing a source of ideas for future grant applications.
Gaddy said a draft could be available to the public as soon as August or in the next couple of months. The public will have a chance to offer comments on the plan.
Also: the commission’s annual boat steward program has seen a slight uptick in boater contacts compared to the same time last year and has intercepted over 100 instances of invasive species, including two quagga mussels, which have not yet established in Lake George.
I will keep an eye out for more details on all of these topics.
- A look inside the Bible camp that calls a Schroon Lake island home.
- Avian flu has caused the death of nearly 20 eagles across the state.
Photo: The Clark Hollow Bay property in Putnam as seen from Lake George. Provided by Lake George Land Conservancy
Editor’s note: This first appeared in Zach’s weekly “Water Line” newsletter. Click here to sign up.
PAUL SMITHS (July 27, 2022) – Registration is now open for the Adirondack Lakes Alliance symposium, which will take place 8:30am – 4:00 pm on Friday, August 5.
FRANKLIN, NY — The Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) has completed a series of stewardship projects that improve access to Franklin Falls Pond and Union Falls Pond and mitigate negative environmental impacts to both water bodies.
Public Comment Period on Proposed New and Improved Regulations Now through September 19; Two Virtual Public Comment Hearings Scheduled for September 13
On July 13, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced proposed changes to the implementing regulations for Real Property Tax Law Section 480a, also known as the Forest Tax Law. The comprehensive overhaul of these nearly 50-year-old regulations will lessen the administrative burden on participating forest landowners, help DEC promote compliance with requirements in place, and maintain and improve sustainable timber management on enrolled lands.
“The Forest Tax Law Program provides private forest landowners a significant real property tax reduction on enrolled forest lands in exchange for managing their timber resource for the long-term with the support of professional foresters,” said Commissioner Seggos. “Privately owned forests make up to 74 percent of the total forest land area in New York, and healthy, well-managed forests are essential for supporting our economy, protecting water and air quality, providing wildlife habitat, and improving forest carbon storage and sequestration, supporting the State’s climate efforts.”
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